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Constitute: A New Website on Comparative Constitutions

 

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Check out, Constitute, a new website on the world’s constitutions. It is an amazing, searchable database. As the website explains:

Constitute allows you to interact with the world’s constitutions in a few different ways.

  • Quickly find relevant passages. The Comparative Constitutions Project has tagged passages of each constitution with a topic — e.g., “right to privacy” or “equality regardless of gender” — so you can quickly find relevant excerpts on a particular subject, no matter how they are worded. You can browse the 300+ topics in the expandable drawer on the left of the page, or see suggested topics while typing in the search bar (which also lets you perform free-text queries).
  • Filter searches. Want to view results for a specific region or time period? You can limit your search by country or by date using the buttons under the search bar.
  • Save for further analysis. To download or print excerpts from multiple constitutions, click the “pin” button next to each expanded passage you want to save. You can then view and download your pinned excerpts in the drawer on the right.

How was this site developed? They explain:

Constitute was developed by the Comparative Constitutions Project. It was seeded with a grant from Google Ideas to the University of Texas at Austin, with additional financial support from the Indigo Trust and IC2. Engineering and web-design support are provided by Psycle and the Miranker Lab at the University of Texas

The following organizations have made important investments in the Comparative Constitutions Project since 2005: the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288), the Cline Center for Democracy, the University of Texas, the University of Chicago, and the Constitution Unit at University College London.

As one who studies international law, I am particularly fascinating by the searchable topics relating to international law:

  •  Explicit References to Int. Law
    • Mention of customary international law
    • Mention of international law
    • Mention of international organizations
    • Mention of international human rights treaties
  •  Foreign Policy
    • Representative of the state for foreign affairs
    • Power to declare/approve war
  •  Treaties
    • Mention of international human rights treaties
    • Treaty ratification process
    • Legal status of treaties

(HT: My dear friend, colleague, and constitutional law expert, Dr. Susan Sullivan Lagon. And it was also featured today on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS.)

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Welcome! Who am I?



Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.